New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the grand opening of the Hudson Valley segment of the New York State Birding Trail to highlight the State’s world-class and wide-ranging birding opportunities.
The Hudson Valley segment includes 39 locations on public lands throughout six counties, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.
Birdwatching has quickly become one of New York’s fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities. The New York State Birding Trail is managed by DEC in collaboration with partners including the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The statewide trail includes a network of promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birds amid beautiful natural settings with little or no cost or investment in equipment.
The Hudson Valley segment of the trail includes 39 locations on a mix of public and private lands throughout Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Westchester counties. From Bird Conservation Areas (BCAs) including Hudson Highlands State Park, and Rockefeller State Park Preserve, to the tidal swamps and marshes at Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area, and the Mount Peter Hawk Watch that provides a scenic overlook for raptor watching, the Hudson Valley provides unique landscapes and habitats for birding along the Hudson River and beyond. We invite you to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to experience birds firsthand by taking the time to visit one of the sites on the bird trail.
New segments of the Birding Trail are opened in a phased approach. DEC announced the New York City trail segment in October 2021, the Greater Niagara trail segment in February 2022, and Long Island segment in March 2022, totaling more than 130 birding locations. Once finished, the Statewide Birding Trail will provide birding opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, ability, identity, or background, across New York State.
To promote the trail as an inclusive experience for all, DEC and partners are working to select sites that are welcoming and accessible by public transportation. Several Hudson Valley birding trail locations are accessible via the Cold Spring-Beacon Trolley Shuttle which runs from Memorial Day to Veterans Day weekend. DEC also continues to solicit input from a wide range of New Yorkers and organizations that represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and is making information available in both English and Spanish. Bird walks will be held in collaboration with organizations working with BIPOC communities.
The New York State Birding Trail map is available at the I Bird NY website and provides valuable information on each site such as location, available amenities, species likely to be seen, directions, and more. Additional information on birding, educational and interpretive information, is also available. Digital information on the Birding Trail will be updated periodically, so budding outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to check back often.
In addition to State-owned and managed locations for the Birding Trail, publicly and privately managed sites can complete a simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion on the trail. Sites all meet criteria to help ensure a positive experience for visitors throughout the state. Additionally, each site will post signage noting it as an official location on the birding trail. For information on the nomination process, see the I Bird NY website.
Birding enthusiasts can visit I Bird NY for more information on where and how to observe birds, upcoming bird walks, a downloadable Beginner’s Guide to Birding, and additional resources.
A map of the Hudson Valley Segment of the Statewide Birding Trail can be found here.
Photo of bird watchers courtesy DEC.